I subscribe to A Word A Day, and this week I got an email that featured the word deuteragonist. Here’s the definition from my iMac’s dictionary:
the person second in importance to the protagonist in a drama.
ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from Greek deuteragōnistēs, from deuteros ‘second’ + agōnistēs ‘actor.’
How could I have written for 26 years and never heard that word? We novelists hear all the time about our protagonists and antagonists but never the deuteragonists. Maybe because it’s a theater term and more closely associated to a play than to a novel? Still, it is a great word and shouldn’t be wasted.
Here’s hoping that the deuteragonist of my current WIP is as interesting as my protagonist.